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Antwone Fisher (2002)



Average Rating: 6.9/10
Reviews Counted: 147
Fresh: 116 | Rotten: 31

Washington's directing debut is a solidly crafted, emotionally touching work.


Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 35
Fresh: 30 | Rotten: 5

Washington's directing debut is a solidly crafted, emotionally touching work.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 46,640

My Rating

Movie Info

The directorial debut of Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington, Antwone Fisher is an autobiographical drama written by the real-life Antwone Fisher. Played by newcomer Derek Luke, Antwone is a volatile young sailor in the Navy, getting into trouble for his constant fighting. When he gets appointed to see naval psychiatrist Dr. Jerome Davenport (Denzel Washington), he begins to reveal the emotional problems behind his rage. Through an introduction to anger management, Antwone is able to



Antwone Fisher

May 20, 2003


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All Critics (163) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (116) | Rotten (31) | DVD (26)

A fine film that proves the past is never too bleak -- or the future too hopeless -- to discover a productive new life, and a home and family to share it.

January 16, 2003
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A riveting story well told.

December 27, 2002
Washington Post
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Denzel Washington gives a sensitive yet powerful performance as a Navy psychiatrist, and newcomer Derek Luke is a pleasant surprise as the title character.

December 27, 2002
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For sure, Antwone Fisher is corny. But it's corny in a way that a Hollywood movie about a boy who just wants to go home ought to be corny.

December 26, 2002 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's a simplicity and heart to Antwone Fisher ... that's extremely appealing.

December 25, 2002 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
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Watchful, flinty, unexpectedly vulnerable -- and so cathartic it could wring tears from a stone.

December 25, 2002
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Devastating story of abuse based on real life.

December 21, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Rings false, belittling instead of honoring its sensitive subject with its twinkly score, kid-glove nobility and cloying payoffs. [Blu-ray]

February 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews | Comment (1)
Groucho Reviews

It is to Washington's credit that he keeps it just real enough to move our hearts and our heads.

December 6, 2004 Full Review Source: Looking Closer
Looking Closer

Sails the same route as dozens of Hollywood psychiatry dramas...Its power lies in the rich themes and performances.

June 18, 2004 Full Review Source: Boulder Weekly

The most remarkable thing about Antwone Fisher is the real-life story on which it is based.

January 6, 2004 Full Review Source: Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)

Yes, Antwone Fisher is a good movie, in the way that lima beans are good food. You may leave the theater feeling fortified, but you'll have a bad taste in your mouth.

September 6, 2003
Las Vegas Weekly

Soupy and sentimental, but with an underlying belief in itself that keeps the rhythm constant and just about manages to reach the gut.

July 6, 2003

For his directorial debut, Denzel Washington (has made) a haunting and resonant film covered with a potent Southern Gothic chill.

June 26, 2003 Full Review

Has the capability of effecting change and inspiring hope.

June 23, 2003 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Antwone Fisher transforma sua própria história em uma lição de resistência e humanidade.

June 16, 2003 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

. . .one of the year's most insightful and evocative films.

June 10, 2003 Full Review Source: positively heartwarming, the main character so well drawn, and the drama so involving, none of the film's imperfections seem very important.

May 3, 2003
Movie Metropolis

Washington is customarily solid as the naval shrink, but directs without imagination or flair, sticking to Hollywood conventions and skimming over the harsher aspects of Fisher's life.

March 23, 2003 Full Review Source: Sunday Times (Australia)
Sunday Times (Australia)

When the tears start coming, they're not jerked from you -- they're honestly earned, and they're a both a relief and, yes, an affirmation.

March 4, 2003 Full Review Source: Premiere Magazine
Premiere Magazine

A mind-numbing, soul-deadeningly dull experience, it is a miracle of mediocrity, a small wonder: how can anything be quite this tedious?

March 4, 2003 Full Review Source: BBC

Although Antwone Fisher is formulaic and at times predictable, it's also beautifully measured and assured, a confident, extraordinarily well-acted film about a man overcoming a dark life of murder, incest, abuse and abandonment.

February 10, 2003
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

A moving story of determination and the human spirit.

February 9, 2003 Full Review
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

a noble, but largely undistinguished work, one that may very well make a lot of people feel warm and fuzzy inside, but is also quickly forgettable

January 29, 2003 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

A portrait of suffering and redemption for its own sake, Antwone Fisher arouses only shallow pity.

January 27, 2003 Full Review Source:

It doesn't amount to a whole lot, but it's frequently moving and reasonably well made.

January 22, 2003 Full Review

Audience Reviews for Antwone Fisher

Antwone Fisher is a pretty good drama, directed by actor Denzel Washington in his first directorial outing. The story is a well thought out, engaging, and the cast are very good in their roles. Washington is a standout actor, one of the finest that I have seen. With this film, he displays a unique eye for crafting a truly engaging story, and he is aided with some standout performances. Derek Luke is great in the title character, and he adds so much to the film, that really makes this picture standout. I liked the film, but at times there are things that don't seem to work, and the material could have been handled better. Luckily the performances standout, and that's the strongest aspect of the film. I wanted to really enjoy the film, but at times, some parts of the film tried to be a bit too ambitious, as if Denzel Washington had something to prove in the director's chair. The film was good, but it felt that the filmmakers tried too hard at making a memorable drama. In the end, the film was entertaining, but you could clearly see that the film tried too hard at being more than what it was, and it didn't end up being the film that it could have been. Luckily the performances here save the film, and also it does show that Washington is capable as director, but for this first directorial effort, he tried a bit too hard at delivering a drama that just made you want more out of the film. If you're a fan of Denzel Washington, this is worth seeing, but it's not a truly memorable drama. It's more of a good drama that could have been improved upon. But for what it is, it's nonetheless an engaging picture that relies on a good story and is saved with engrossing performances by its cast.
April 2, 2014
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Strong acting and terrific story, based on the real-life experiences of former U.S. navy man Antwone Fisher. Before I saw this, I had no idea that Denzel Washington had done some work behind camera. What I can say now though, is that he ought to do it more often. For his directing in this feature is quite phenomenal, and his acting on-screen just the same. It would be unjust to lay all focus on him though, as his co-star Derek Luke easily matches that excellence. I'm surprised we haven't seen more of him, because his performance in this film is truly worthy of recognition. It's genuine and touching, and his story a highly riveting one to follow. Wonderful supporting cast as well, whose combined talents makes this anything but run-of-the-mill. Engrossing all the way and with a moving and heartwarming ending. Not to be missed if you appreciate great dramas.
December 21, 2010
Mike S

Super Reviewer

A remarkable tale based on a true story, I was gripped from start to finish. Derek Luke, I thought played a fantastic part and it was a good performance from Denzel too, who also Directed the film.

An emotional account of how someone's present circumstances are a result of their past, facing your fears and forgiving to enable you to move on.

VERDICT: A great film which I definitely recommend.
November 2, 2007

Super Reviewer

My type of movie
April 24, 2007

Super Reviewer

    1. Dr. Jerome Davenport: You're the champ, son. You've beaten everyone whose beaten you.
    – Submitted by Frances H (6 months ago)
    1. Spinoza: I don't know, what do you think?
    – Submitted by Doug J (13 months ago)
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